Anilava Chatterjee, Qatar: Five-time former World Champions Brazil will be aiming to break the European jinx as they take on Croatia in the quarter final of FIFA World Cup 2022 at the Education City Stadium on Friday. The Selecao have lost each of their last five knockout matches against European nations in the competition since beating Germany 2-0 in World Cup 2002.
The Latin American giants though have never lost in four previous meetings with Croatia in all competitions (winning three and drawing one) and that’s what make them confident against the likes of Luca Modric, Marcelo Brozovic and co.
Tite and his boys are oozing in confidence after their convincing win against South Korea in the pre-quarter final. It was evident from the body-language of each Brazilian footballer during their training at Al Arabi Sports Complex.
News coming from the Brazilian camp is Danilo will continue to start at the left back position as his Juventus teammate Alax Sandro is yet to fully recover from his hip injury. According to Coach Tite, his (Alex Sandro) recovery is taking longer than Neymar and Danilo. It is very likely that there will not be too many changes to the side that played against South Korea, which will mean Brazil’s back four will be Danilo, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Eder Militao.
PSG superstar Neymar is poised to continue in an advanced role in between wingers Raphinha and Vinicius Junior, while Richarlison is set to lead the line up front. Casemiro and Paqueta will marshal the midfield.
Much to the surprise of a packed press conference room a cat sneaked in and found its way onto the table in front of Vincius Jr. The Real Madrid and Neymar both led orchestrated dance moves after scoring the opening two goals against South Korea, with Richarlison running over to the bench and beckoning his manager to join in following the third.
The Brazilian Head Coach was criticized for disrespecting the South Koreans by taking part in the dance celebrations after the pre-quarter final win. Tite rejected those accusations and says he has a responsibility to preserve the identity of Brazilian football.
“There might be lots of kids who dance because that is what Brazilian culture is when a goal is scored. That’s not being disrespectful to anyone else – that’s what we do, that’s us.We will continue to do things in our manner,” said Tite in his pre match conference.
Predicted XI for Brazil: Alisson, Militao, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Danilo; Casemiro, Paqueta, Raphinha, Neymar, Vinicius Jr & Richarlison
Here is the training session of Brazil ahead of quarter-final fixture against Croatia: